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symphonic

VFO / PETRENKO / LUGANSKY

Tchaikovsky Piano concerto, The Nutcracker

Vasily Petrenko conducts the VFO in two of Tchaikovsky’s greatest masterpieces, first his piano concerto with pianist Nikolaï Lugansky and then for a unique and funfilled version of the Nutcracker.

Programme

PIOTR ILYITCH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor Op. 23

Interval

PIOTR ILYITCH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
The Nutcracker, Act II

Upon its completion in 1874, Tchaikovsky’s mighty first piano concerto had its famous opening chords described by pianist Nikolai Rubinstein as ‘bad, trivial and vulgar,’ yet it won the public over instantly at its premiere. The dramatic first movement is followed by a poetic, more lightly scored Andantino Semplice featuring beautiful interplay between soloist and orchestra. The finale is then a glittering, folk-informed rondo. It was to Act II of Tchaikovsky’s 1892 ballet, The Nutcracker, that audiences initially most warmed. The curtain rises on the serene Magic Palace of Confitureenburg. After the arrival of Clara and her Nutcracker prince, sweets from around the world perform a series of dances for them, climaxing on the Waltz of the Flowers. Next comes a Pas de Deux in which sit a daintily whirling Tarantella and the Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy. The ballet then climaxes on a grand waltz.